Cockle Park Farm. An account of the work of the Cockle Park Experimental Station from 1896-1956 by H Cecil Pawson. Published 1960. Oxford University Press.
Professor H Cecil Pawson, MBE, DSc, FRSE
Cockle Park tower built for defence against the raiding Scotts in 1300 and for student accommodation in the 1950s
Somerville was followed at Armstrong College in 1899 by Thomas Middleton who revolutionised agricultural education at the college, and set up the famous King's College Agricultural Society built on old students as they progressed into the industry.
Cockle Park Seed's mixture
Generations of students have had to learn the "Cockle Park Seed's mixture" off by heart. There were many modifications added to suit different conditions, but this was the core one.
- 12 lb Perennial ryegrass
- 10 lb Cocksfoot
- 4lb Timothy
- 4lb English red clover
- 4lb Wild white clover
Appendix II of Prof Pawson's book is about the history of the Cockle Park Tower showing a print of it in 1774. It is a classic example of the peel towers or Border fortresses which covered the marches on both sides of the Border during the period of conflict.
Prof Mac Cooper
Another great source of information about Cockle Park is the biography of Professor M.M Cooper who came to Kings College from the Chair of Agriculture at Wye College in 1953 to be Dean of Agriculture so was in charge of the teaching and research programme, the commercial farm at Nafferton and the Experimental Station at Cockle Park.
Mac Cooper - A biography by John Craven.
Published 2000. The Pentland Press Ltd.
Always Your Friend. A personal appreciation of H Cecil Pawson by Reverend Edwin Thompson. Publishing Date unknown.
The Cockle Park song
It's not known who composed the original Cockle Park song, but singing it was a right of passage of all Agric students, along with many other classics. Here is the original from the Agric's Song Book.
When Prof Cooper came up from Wye College to be Dean at Kings, he started making major changes to Cockle Park, some of which were welcomed and some not.
This took place in my third and fourth year (1954-55), and our class was instrumental in adding new verses to the song. - verses 3, 4 and 5. The leader of the song changes was Henry Pickering, but we all added suggestions to the final version below.
It was always sung with great gusto to the tune of Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Thanks to Dr Deric Charlton for supplying this copy, obviously typed in the days before word processors!
So Ruakura again was a regular target for our mimicry. Little did I realise that it would one day become my workplace, at the other side of the world far from that lecture room in the Ag School at King's College, University of Durham in Newcastle upon Tyne!